Your garbage disposal is a handy appliance, grinding up kitchen waste so it’s no longer in your home. However, many homeowners aren’t sure what can be disposed of, and many more make mistakes that can damage their disposals and shorten their length of usefulness.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to improve the performance of your garbage disposal, while keeping it clean and spotless.
What Not to Toss
What sort of things shouldn’t go down your garbage disposal? Obviously, anything that’s not biodegradable — plastic, paper or metal — should be avoided. Tough vegetable skins and very fibrous foods, such as potato peels, corn husks, onion skins, lettuce and celery stalks, should also be avoided.
Additionally, avoid letting bones, grease and oil go down your disposal. Eggshells should likewise be avoided, as should rice and pasta, which can stick to the blades. Always avoid overloading your disposal with too much food at once.
Keeping It Clean
- Ice cubes can help keep disposal blades sharp. Ice cubes made of vinegar and water are recommended for freshening blades, as well as for sharpening them.
- Put chopped lemon peels into your disposal to eliminate odors.
- Flush your garbage disposal with cold water while it’s running. Once a month, you can also pour half a cup of baking soda, followed by a cup of white vinegar, into the disposal. After the foaming ceases, flush your disposal with hot water.
- You can also run water and dishwashing liquid through your disposal to keep it clean.
Clearing a Jam
If you encounter a jam, unplug the appliance before you clear it. Shine a flashlight down the disposal, and use a pair of pliers or tongs to clear the appliance. Then, use a wooden spoon to turn the blades. You may also insert a hex wrench into the hole beneath the disposal, and try to turn the shaft and flywheel to see if the clog is cleared. If it moves, then turn the disposal back on.
For more information about how to keep your garbage disposal in good shape, contact Roth Home & Cooling in Portland.